Wide table attachment
Can’t fully control speed with pedal
Doesn’t work well with heavy fabrics
Thread tension is tricky
The Brother CS6000i Computerized Sewing Machine has a number of useful features. From a computerized interface and a one-step buttonhole function to an automatic needle threader and quick-change presser foot lever, the machine is a beginner sewer’s dream. While it certainly ticks a lot of boxes on paper, we wanted to see if its in-person performance was up to snuff. We picked up our own Brother CS6000i and started a few new projects to see. Keep reading for our verdict.
Setup Process: Fast and simple
The Brother CS6000i is extremely easy to set up. The power cord plugs into the right side of the machine and the foot pedal plugs into the back. As far as getting ready to sew, winding the bobbin is simple, and the automatic needle threader is a joy to use. Between the thorough instructions in the manual and the directions printed on the machine itself, you’ll have no trouble getting it up and running.
Design: Ideal for beginners
The Brother CS6000i is designed for streamlined sewing. Winding the bobbin and threading the needle are simple tasks, especially with the automatic needle threader and instructions printed right on the machine.
The sewing area is brightly lit and easy to use. It comes with a removable flat bed attachment that doubles as a storage compartment for extra accessories. You’ll need to remove it when sewing things like hems and cuffs, but it’s quite useful otherwise. The machine also has a wide table attachment with legs for stability—a must for larger projects like quilts. If you need to lower or raise the feed dogs, there’s an adjustable slider on the back of the machine.
Next, the Brother CS6000i comes with nine presser feet that correspond to the machine’s 60 built-in stitches. To keep the sewing process easy, there’s a simple lever mechanism for switching out presser feet. The hardest part is lining up the new presser foot with its holder, but honestly, it’s still a piece of cake.
The Brother CS6000i is designed for streamlined sewing. Winding the bobbin and threading the needle are simple tasks.
We only found a few minor issues with the Brother CS6000i’s design. First, when inserting your threaded bobbin into the machine, the instruction manual directs you to use the cutter. But in our experience, this left the thread too short to catch when we started sewing. As we said, though, this is a minor gripe as the issue is easily remedied by waiting to cut the thread until you’ve sewn a few stitches.
Our second complaint: You can’t fully control the machine’s speed using the foot pedal. Intead, there’s a slider that controls speed on the front of the machine. The machine is designed this way on purpose, though, as the CS6000i has the capability to run without its pedal. Rather than start sewing by pressing the pedal, you can press the gray, circular button with a straight arrow on it and the machine will start sewing on its own. (Note that this function only works if the pedal is unplugged.) After getting used to the slider control, we thought this was a nifty feature—especially for those who sew on the go as you don’t have to pack a pedal.
Performance: Smooth sailing
Simply put, the Brother CS6000i is a workhorse. It’s capable of 850 stitches per minute, has a one-step buttonhole sewing function, and can be used for a variety of projects. However, if you’re looking for a machine that can sew heavier materials like leather or upholstery, you’ll want to look elsewhere. This machine doesn’t have the heavy-duty motor that thicker fabrics call for.
We tried out a few simple projects on this machine, one being a throw pillow with decorative stitching. The sewing process proved easy and the end result was great. One thing we love about this machine is how beginner-friendly it is. There are a lot of choices to make before starting a project, and it can be overwhelming. The Brother CS6000i helps solve this problem in a few ways. First, when you select a stitch, the LCD screen will display the presser foot you’ll need. Second, the machine won’t let you select a stitch width or length outside the presser foot’s dimensions. That way, you won’t break your needle.
Simply put, the Brother CS6000i is a workhorse.
We did have an issue getting the thread tension right, but we found that it was an easy-to-solve problem. When threading the needle, make sure that the presser foot and the needle are both up all the way. If they’re down, you’ll have thread tension issues. After it’s threaded correctly, the tension dial can be a little tricky to master. We experimented and found that keeping the tension setting around “4” was best for normal fabrics.
Troubleshooting your problems is fairly easy with the manual’s help. You’ll find a few tables in the back with error codes and their corresponding fixes.
Controls: Easier than they look
The controls on the Brother CS6000i Sewing Machine may look confusing, but we found that after a quick read-through of the manual, they’re actually really simple. Let’s start with the two plus/minus buttons to the right side of the operation panel (the LCD screen). The top one is your stitch length adjustment key, and the bottom one is the stitch width adjustment key for zigzag or decorative stitches. See? Simple.
There are two more plus/minus buttons below the operation panel. These are stitch selection keys. They correspond to the two larger digits on the LCD screen. To put it simply, the left key will change the digit on the left, and the right key will change the digit on the right. This way, you don’t have to hit a button 60 times if you want a stitch with a higher number.
One thing we love about this machine is how beginner-friendly it is.
Below the operation panel, you’ll find the speed controller slider. If it’s all the way to the left, it’s at its slowest setting; if it’s all the way to the right, it’s at its fastest setting. You can still control the speed a little with the foot pedal, but not very much.
To the left of the speed controller slider, there are three buttons. The one on the right will lower or raise the needle. The middle button is the reverse sewing control. The left button is the one you use in place of the foot pedal. Hitting it once will cause the machine to start sewing, and hitting it again will stop it. There’s no need to press it continuously.
As far as dials go, there are only two on the Brother CS6000i. The first—on the right side of the machine—will move the needle up and down. The second is on the top left of the machine, and it’s numbered. This is how you adjust the thread’s tension.
Price: Surprisingly low
Finding an inexpensive but high-quality sewing machine is usually a hard task. That’s why we love the Brother CS6000i so much. At $180, it’s affordable, reliable, and a great machine for beginner or intermediate sewers.
Brother CS6000i Computerized Sewing Machine vs. Singer Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine
We mentioned above that the Brother CS6000i doesn’t do well with heavier materials like leather, upholstery, or denim. While we love the ease of use of this machine, along with all of its stitches and features, sometimes you need something more powerful.
The Singer Heavy Duty 4423 Sewing Machine has a metal frame and strong motor, making this a great, beginner-friendly machine for those looking to tackle thicker materials. It can also sew up to 1,100 stitches per minute, while the Brother CS6000i can only sew 850 stitches per minute.
Both machines have an automatic needle threader and a similar buttonhole sewing function. They’re also usually in the same price range, and getting either under $200 is a great deal. Still, the Singer 4423 isn’t computerized, and it doesn’t come with as many presser feet or other accessories. It also only has 23 built-in stitches, as opposed to the Brother CS6000i’s 60 stitches.
- Product Name CS6000i Computerized Sewing Machine
- Product Brand Brother
- MPN CS6000i
- Price $179.99
- Weight 13 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 16 x 6.7 x 11.4 in.
- Stitch Speed 850 per minute
- Warranty 25-year limited
- What’s Included Accessory pouch with needle set, twin needle, spool pin, three bobbins, cleaning brush, seam ripper, screwdriver, eyelet punch, power cord, operation manual, hard protective case, oversized table, buttonhole foot, overcasting foot, monogramming foot, zipper foot, zigzag foot, blindstich foot, button fitting foot, walking foot, spring action quilting foot